The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

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Wakefield seniors develop climate action plans

Nic Cazin
The 2024 Youth Climate Summit takes place this Monday, February 19. Students will collaborate on initiatives to solve the climate crisis.

As the spring semester kicks off, many seniors look to leave a lasting mark on Wakefield’s community. One student-led club in particular is impacting beyond Wakefield High School. Forces of Nature is Wakefield’s environmental club, and its founder, senior Abby Weaver, is set to join senior Nic Cazin in attending the North Carolina Youth Climate Summit on Feb. 19. Held by the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science in Durham, the summit helps high school students develop their climate action plans: blueprints for more sustainable, environmentally friendly schools.

The NC Youth Climate Summit is also partly led by a board of high school students that help their peers develop achievable, individualized sustainability goals for their respective schools. Cazin, a founding member of the youth climate board, experienced firsthand how transformative this event can be when they helped lead the summit for the last two years. 

“We get together and have these breakout workshop sessions where you’re learning about different ways that youth have helped combat climate change and different ways that legislators have [too],” Cazin said. “It’s inspiring because it’s [a reminder that] I’m not alone in fighting [climate change.]”

Madeline James, the Associate Program Manager of Nature and Sustainability at the Museum of Life and Science, and summit mentor, has worked with the youth climate board since the beginning and enjoys seeing unique ideas to improve sustainability from different high schools.

We strive to get everybody to think about what they are interested in because there are so many different paths to climate action.

— James

“One of the teams eliminated styrofoam trays from their school, and got them to switch to compostable trays,” James said. “We strive to get everybody to think about what they are interested in because there are so many different paths to climate action.” 

Leaders like James allow groups of students to expand their positive environmental impact by providing connections and helpful resources. Other climate action plans have included petitions for solar panels and organizing clothing drives. Throughout all their action, students are encouraged to reach out to the museum during the year for ongoing support. Recycling programs are also part of many high schoolers’ climate action plans, especially at Wakefield. Weaver has worked hard throughout her time at Wakefield to create a welcoming club that allows all students to increase sustainability. 

“It was really important to me that the school had a community to help the environment. I noticed [before starting the club] that we didn’t have [a] recycling [program at school,]” Weaver said. “The goal is to help the school community become a little bit greener in any way that we can.”

Forces of Nature meets once a week to pick up recycling: every Monday after school in Room 204.  They also hold monthly meetings on the third Friday of every month during Pack Time B, and encourage students to join their Remind with code @bf7khe. Club officer and current junior Amelia Fountas highlights recycling Mondays as a great way for students to get hours for other honor societies, while also helping the environment.

“[Recycling] is a great way to help other clubs get hours and [is also great] because it helps make our school more eco-friendly,” Fountas said. “All you have to do to join is to join the Remind, then just come to recycle.”

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